May 2, 2013 David Morin

How to Be More Outgoing (In 7 Specific Steps)

Update: I have created a guide on how to be more outgoing and getting the friends you want. Watch it now by clicking on the link and learn the principles behind friendship as well as step-by-step methods for how to be more outgoing.

Maybe you don’t enjoy hanging out at parties and mingling with strangers that much. Perhaps you feel a bit uncomfortable in social situations.  If so, I’ve got good new for you. I discovered some pretty interesting stuff as I delved into this subject. In this article I will share with you what I found.

The first part of the guide contains important mindsets. 

The second part of the guide contains practical advice.

1. Do This the Next Time Someone Invites You to an Event

event-invitation-facebook

Over the years I’ve declined a lot of invitations because I got this really bad feeling from the bare thought of going to a party with loads of strangers. I guess you can relate.

I realized that I much rather enjoyed being at home than being out dancing. The drawback is obvious, though- if you want to make friends, you SHOULD take any chance you can to socialize.

Here’s what changed the game for me: I understood that what I feared the most with parties was coming up with things to say. I was afraid to end up in a corner on my own, or push through a boring conversation I knew the other person just wanted to leave.

After tears of trial and error, I finally learned how to make conversations and became really good at it.

My second problem was that I got nervous and got locked up inside my head. When I realized that simply acting in a self confident manner actually made me feel more self confident, I found myself going from doing anything to avoid parties and social events, to actually enjoying them.

Well, it took some practice off course. During the following year, I said “Yes” to invitations when I really just wanted to say “No”.

So I recommend you to study the art of making conversation. If you learn it and practice it once a while, you WILL become good at it. Following that, push yourself to attend events even if you don’t feel like it. Over time, your brain will slowly rewire and you will notice a genuine change.

Conversational skills + Social Confidence + Practice = Inevitable Success

Summary:

  1. Study how to make conversation.
  2. Study how to feel more confident in social situations.
  3. Push yourself and accept party invitations even if you don’t feel like it.
  4. Don’t expect instant results, but instead enjoy a gradual transition.

2. Did You Know This About Others?

How common it is to be nervousIt’s important to know that most people are quite insecure beings. I walked around in the illusion that I was the only one who felt nervous and uncomfortable around strangers, until I realized that’s how almost everyone feels. One study revealed that 33 out of 100 feel nervous three times per week or more, and we can assume that’s every time they’re in a new social situation.

I don’t have data on it, but the majority of people feel insecure regularly. It’s not something only you feel – It’s a human trait.

This realization was important to me, because I used to put others on a pedestal and assume that they were something they weren’t. Now I instead  meet people on the same level as I’m on. Now I’M suddenly the confident one in any given situation. Knowing the truth about how people feel helps me relax and enjoy social situations more.

If you are listening to a funny podcast and start to giggle when you pass someone by on the street, you can be sure the person you meet wants to take a look in a mirror to make sure he or she doesn’t look funny. That’s how people are. Knowing that others have their insecurities helps you to become more secure because it changes the hierarchy. 

Jonathan Maed talks more about this in an excellent article on his site Paid to Exist.

Summary:

  1. When you’re on your way to a social event, remind yourself that people are quite insecure beings.
  2. You can help them by showing a caring and positive attitude towards them. That will make you come off as more outgoing.
  3. Self confidence and being outgoing goes hand in hand. As you become more self confident, it’s easier to become more outgoing.

3. Do You Know What Others Know About You?Illusion of transparency Cognitive Bias

We have a tendency to overestimate how well people know us.

If we feel nervous we often assume that people will notice that. Like a Sim City-crystal floating over our heads people will instantly spot us as we enter the room. “That’s the nervous one”.

What happens when we think this way? Well, we become even more nervous. It’s hard to be outgoing with this mindset.

In reality, there is no supernatural way for people to spot a nervous person. What it comes down to is how you behave. Even if you don’t feel super-confident, you can act in a confident way and people will take you for a confident person. That was a great relief for me to realize. I finally understood that as long as I acted like a self confident person, people would take me for a self confident person. In itself, that made me truly self confident.

This played an important role to help me get the confidence I have today. If you haven’t already, check out my FREE video training on how to be more outgoing here.

Summary:

  1. People can’t “spot” how you feel inside unless you act out how you feel inside.
  2. You can feel assured that people will see you as a self confident person if you act in a self confident way.
  3. If you want to be seen as an outgoing person, you don’t need to turn into someone else. Instead, you can adjust specific things in your behavior. I will walk you through these things below.

Practical Advice

Use the advice below in combination with the principles above.

4. Do a Smile Overhaul

smiling-with-eyesSmiling is serious business!

It’s one of the most important factors when it comes to appearing more outgoing. But, smiling too much can make you look nervous, and forcing a smile can make you look insincere. Here’s how to smile the proper way:

  • Smile whenever you greet OR say goodbye to someone.
  • When you’re in a converation, smile only when the other person is smiling, or when you’re talking about something that is funny or amusing. If you’re constantly smiling it might come off as a smirk.
  • Make a genuine smile by using your eyes, like I’m doing above. Notice how the images to the right don’t just look more genuine, I also look more self confident.

To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend you to “fake a genuine smile” but instead focusing on something you like in the situation you’re in, think about that and pick up on that real positive feeling. When you feel genuinely happy, a genuine smile will come naturally.

Try greeting people with a genuine smile like the one at the top right. That’s a powerful way to make others see you as an outgoing, confident person.

I was thinking the other day “Why is it that with some of my friends, hanging out is the highlight of the day, while with some people, I don’t get that enjoyable feeling at all?” I discovered that it comes down to two things.

The first thing:

5. Show a Genuine Interest in People You Meet

This probably sounds narcissistic. But research confirms this, so apparently this is how we humans work: People I love hanging out with show a genuine interest in me.

My friends who are interested in my opinion and my life and what I think are so much more fun to hang out with. Showing genuine interest in others is a true trait of an outgoing person. Those in my social circle that aren’t that outgoing don’t ask questions about me and what I think, and they’re just not that fun to hang out with. When I hang out with these people, I know most of the conversation is going to be about them.

Summary:

  • Cultivate a genuine interest in people you meet.
  • Make it a habit to ask people what they think about the current subject. Ask for their advice and value their input by paying attention to it.
  • Outgoing people who show interest in me make me feel good, because they “see me”. And that makes me pay more attention to them and what they think i return.

Here’s the second thing that I discovered: People I love hanging out with show that they like me…

6. Show That You Like People You Meet

How to show liking

Maybe you have a friend who’s sparse with positive words and doesn’t give you much credit. Even if it’s just a jargon, it’s just not that fun to hang out in the long run (Unless the person is really good at showing liking in some other way, like standing up for you or doing you favors)

Outgoing people show that they like others. Here are some ways to show liking:

  • If someone has created something or achieved something, aknowledge that by complimenting the person.
  • If you think it’s nice to see someone, say it!
  • Again, don’t forget to smile when you meet people.
  • People easily forget compliments, but remember negative feedback for a long time. Make sure to compliment people several times for each time you criticize them.
  • Remember how people are quite insecure beings and take that into account before you criticize someone.

7. How do You Express Yourself?

How you talk about your life in general can be a dealbreaker when it comes to whether people will see you as an outgoing person or not.

I recently realized that I never made friends with people I came across who had a negative attitude towards life. It’s just not that fun to hear about how it sucks that they can’t get a job or how this or that person is stupid for saying this or that.

If you want to be seen as an outgoing person, express yourself in a positive way.

With that said, you can express critique as long as you do it in a constructive way. There’s a huge difference between saying “This movie sucks” and “I would have liked it more if they would have developed the main character more”. An outgoing person can complain, but does so in a constructive manner. Keep in mind that the more a person complains, the less others will listen. “Oh that’s Brian, he is always complaining”. 

Have you come across someone who’s really outgoing? Or someone who’s not that outgoing at all? What did that person do? Let me know in the comments!

Comments (5)

  1. Abarcus Joe

    I have a friend who’s complainging a lot and that can be quite frustrating. I know that I can complain quite a lot sometimes too about different stuff that doesn’t really matter when I think about it in retrospect. I will pay attention to this. Thank you for a great article! I learned a lot from it.

  2. Bjørn S

    Also begin to do sport where you get natural active. I run 5,5 km every second day. And that really make you more happy with yourself. And you are able to give more pleasure to other people. 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Hi, my boyfriend is not outgoing and I’ve realised that our lives have become boring because we are always indoors. He’s not into sports, drinks less but loves exercising. How do I make become an outgoing person?

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